In Norway, we have great advantages for building and operating offshore wind turbines. Offshore winds off our coasts and in the North Sea can provide Norway and Europe with much-needed green energy and also become an important industry for the Norwegian supplier industry.
But then we have to think big, not small. Offshore wind on a small scale will not meet future energy needs or climate goals and will not contribute to new industrial opportunities in Norway. In a short time, the government will define the framework for offshore wind in the first regions, Utsira North and South North Sea II. There are plans for that construction of 3 gigawatts of offshore wind, The plan is to announce the concessions by the end of the first quarter of 2023. It has not been clear for a long time, across several government terms, how the announcement will take place and who will be responsible for what. In addition to these first announcements, there is greater uncertainty about the future ambitions of offshore wind players. The government’s long-term goal now Allocating areas equivalent to 30 gigawatts by 2040But the way there is not clear.
A gap between Norway and other countries
Many countries maintain a high pace of offshore wind development. Here, Norway lags behind, despite our large sea areas, excellent wind resources and strong professional environments. Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain A total of 25 GW has been installed in the North Sea. These countries plan a total of 114 gigawatts of offshore wind in production by 2030. To 2040 and to 2050, ambitions are getting even bigger.
While the government in Norway is talking about the space for a certain future capacity, the countries around us are talking about offshore wind in production. This illustrates the gap between the ambitions of Norway and the other North Sea states.
There is pressure in European supply chains for offshore wind. Without actual development in Norway and without clarity about upcoming large tenders for offshore wind areas, we are at the back of the line to connect suppliers and industry to Norway. We run the risk that projects will be delayed and more expensive than we would like. This means a lack of energy for the new green industries that are in the process of being built.
Many are ready
Norwegian companies have great potential to compete in the growing offshore wind industry. Individual Norwegian companies are represented in 90 percent of the offshore wind value chain, according to a new report prepared for Vårgrøn, Agder Energi and Corio Generation that will be published soon. At the same time, there are no internationally leading Norwegian supplier companies in the offshore wind field – most of them are currently small. If the Norwegian industry is to compete at the top of the world in offshore wind projects – which is our national ambition – we must have a home market where we can develop an efficient, innovative and competitive industry.
It is urgent to return to the work force that distinguished us through the development of hydroelectric power in the twentieth century, when the foundation was laid for today’s welfare state, and again in the seventies, when we found oil. The entire supplier industry and a large number of marine window developers are trekking on the starting line.
Learn from others
One of the main learning points from countries that already have a large offshore wind industry is that there is a need for systematic collaboration between authorities, developers and the supplier industry.
The UK authorities are investing in infrastructure along with the supply industry to build a robust value chain. Germany has put in place a predictable plan for new capacity with regular calls for tenders, infrastructure development and new jobs.
Experience from other countries also shows that it is possible to develop models with award standards that create opportunities for the Norwegian and European supplier industry. By setting strict climate and environmental requirements, we can facilitate a sustainable Norwegian supplier industry. At the same time, the government should enter into a climate partnership with Norwegian industry and the maritime industry to ensure emissions reductions that also provide competitive advantages. In this way, Norway can develop a completely new industry, which provides more renewable energy production and facilitates green jobs.
We have spent a great deal of time discussing foreign and hybrid or radial cables to Norway. It’s not entirely hard to think big now and still limit the first production to be made available in the Norwegian power grid. Closing the doors to offshore winds on a broader scale for export in the future is short-lived. Connectivity to Europe combined with an increase in modifiable hydropower allows development without subsidies.
In Norway, we have a long tradition of exploiting natural advantages. Norway must quickly put in place a concrete system for lighting areas at regular intervals, creating predictability towards the target in 2040. Offshore wind can become an industrial adventure and produce lower climate emissions. But then we have to think big and start now.
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